Saturday, November 5, 2016

Let's Talk More About That Ariel Shuman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            It seems I still have not gotten "The Sleepover" out of my system, since it touches on all my core issues.  In some ways, Ariel is the most difficult figure in the story to figure out.

                            Ariel is played as a teenage bitch by Daveigh Chase in 1990, and by an adult still craving acceptance in 2004, actress Emma Bates.

                             What is really fascinating about Bates' performance, and how it is written, is what it reveals about Ariel, because the past only offers the sketchiest portrayal of this girl.

                               From the past, it seems to me Ariel comes from the most conventional family structure of the girls.  She and Rita connect, because they are genuinely bright; Ariel's becoming a doctor proves that, and had Rita not been killed, she would have had a top flight career, too. 

                                The tragic irony is, Rita is either a girl who has skipped grades, or just not matured as fast as the others, because by the time she is seen, puberty has set in for Ariel and the others, but not for Rita.  The other girls tower over her, and are more physically mature.  Yup, puberty has set in.  The irony is Rita is more mature, with her sensitivity and insight.  The others are clueless.

                                Ariel is a bit more insightful.  While she never comes out and says she hates Rita, she does sell her out to be with the other girls.  And, it is her idea to invite Rita over to a sleepover at Brandi's.  As an adult, she says she thought she was helping Rita become more popular, like she--Ariel--wanted to be, by hanging out at Brandi's.  She does not consciously abuse Rita, but she does not help her, either, just goes along, like a good acolyte.  Rita clearly feels betrayed, and I understand.

                                  What I never understood was why Rita left, but then came back.  Had she not returned, she never would have been  killed.  She would not have seen the Beaudrys abuse Brandi and Neil, their children; nor would she have gotten the others thrown out of the house, causing Brandi to freak out in humiliation, lashing out at Ariel, telling her the friendship is finished.  The sad irony is, when Brandi says she is better off being friends with Rita, on some level, she is right, and recognizes that.  Though she conducts herself cruelly, Brandi is actually doing these girls a favor.

                                      Ariel does not see it that way,  With no inner core, and the adolescent's inability to see beyond the immediate, she lashes out at Rita, pushing her over the cliff, and kills her.

                                        What Ariel does not know, till adulthood, was that Brandi witnessed the whole thing from her house.  And once she established herself as a doctor, Ariel was bribed by Brandi (who became a party planner; perfect career for a bitch, darlings!!!!!!!!!!) into prescribing meds to feed her addiction.  For this she does not reveal Ariel as Rita's killer.

                                           Neil Beaudry is schizophrenic--not helped by the parents' abuse--and is in a mental institution, due to a bizarre attempt to recreate Rita by accidentally killing a girl.  Which causes Rita's case to be reopened.

                                              When the now young women are interrogated, the bitch gates open!  Tiffany says she is not keeping any more secrets, Ariel becomes terrified, and Brandi starts jonesing.
Ariel is discovered to be her supplier, which is how she reveals herself to be Rita's killer.  She breaks down in tears, but instead of saying, "Oh, Rita, I am SO sorry," the first words that come out of Ariel's mouth, to Lily are, "Do you hate me?"

                                                 Which shows Ariel still has that acceptance thing going.  Well, Ariel, you get to test it out for life, in prison.

                                                    Maybe you will find popularity there, you bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     You had a good life, and you screwed it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


shortbaldfigureoffun said...

You make a show I'd never watch seem more than interesting.
And you do so concisely, the sole of wit.
Is Ariel Jewish? Dr. Shuman? Or is she everyone who has virtues and failings (shuman = humans?
I love the phrase bitch gates, and can see you writing a horror comedy with the title Bitchgate.
However, I'm Brandi was extorting, not "bribing" Ariel. Unless she was doing both. Also, I would have ended this entry with prison. But, chacun a son facon.
Btw,of course I'm not a robot. And I'm sure I'm not the only android who's tired of that question.

The Raving Queen said...

You raise some interesting points. Is Ariel Jewish? I never thought of that. I know someone whose name is that, and she is not Jewish. Also, Chestnut Hill is a pretty wealthy and WASPy area of Philly. As far as Brandi, is there a difference between blackmail and extortion. Maybe she was doing both--holding Ariel's crime over her head in exchange for drugs, which was needed by her more than money. Though I am pretty sure the script uses the easier words.

The script also messes up dates--the opening date, suggesting Rita's murder was November 9, 1990. Fine. But Neil Beaudry says he goes to her site on the anniversary of her death, which he says is November 16. Now, he is schizoid, and off meds when he says this, so that could be an excuse. But when Brandi throws Rita and everyone out of the house, Tiffany had said something about it being two in the morning, so Ariel and Rita are walking home in the wee hours of November 10. Which should make that the date of her death.

Still cannot figure out why Ariel became a doctor. And how, with this hanging over her, she made it. Fascinating that she still feels she needs acceptance.

This episode presses my buttons, because I can see myself as Ariel and Rita. I was treated like the latter, but got the desperation of the former. I was just not willing to sell out my real friends.